The state is also known as the 'Dev Bhumi' or 'Land of God' because it houses various religious places and places of worships that are regarded as the most sacred and propitious areas of devotion and pilgrimage.
The name of the state was formally altered from Uttaranchal to Uttarakhand in 2007. Dehradun serves as the capital of the state and it is also the biggest city in the state. The High Court of Uttarakhand is in Nainital, another important city in the state. Handicrafts and handlooms are two major industries in the state. It is also famous for being the origin of the Chipko Movement or Chipko Andolan.
On 9 November 2000, it became a full-fledged state of India with the formal induction of a separate state government. The state is carved out of Uttar Pradesh, which has the largest population in India.
The history of Uttarakhand sings the glorious past of the territory. It has a long history of its genesis and evolution, with highlights of great emperors and empires such as the Kushanas, Kudinas, Kanishka, Samudragupta, Katuria, Palas, Chandras and Pawaras. Talking about the history of Uttarakhand, it can be said that it finds reference in many holy Hindu scriptures. But its history can be best understood through the history of Garhwal and Kumaon. More Detail...
The state covers a total area of 53,483 sq km. Most of the areas of the state are hilly and forested. The distinctive flora and fauna of the state comprise creatures like snow leopards, bharal, tigers, leopards and uncommon shrubs and trees. The Yamuna and the Ganges, two biggest rivers of the Republic of India, have their headwaters in this state. The prominent geographical features of Uttarakhand are as follows: The state covers a total area of 53,483 sq km. Most of the areas of the state are hilly and forested. The distinctive flora and fauna of the state comprise creatures like snow leopards, bharal, tigers, leopards and uncommon shrubs and trees. The Yamuna and the Ganges, two biggest rivers of the Republic of India, have their headwaters in this state. The prominent geographical features of Uttarakhand are as follows:
- Mountainous shrubland and plains
- The alpine bushes and pastures of Western Himalaya
- Moderate coniferous jungles
- Sub alpine conifer jungles in the Western Himalaya
- Moderate broadleaf forests of the Western Himalaya
- Subtropical pine forests of the Himalayan mountain range
- Terai-Duar lowlands and savanna
- Humid broadleaf forests of the Upper Gangetic Plains.
Uttarakhand is situated in the Northern part of India. It has a total land area of 53,483 sq. km. It has a population of 1,00,86,292 inhabitants as per the 2011 census. The state had a growth rate of 19.17% over the last census. The male to female ratio is 1000: 963. The population density is 189 per sq. km. The literacy rate of Uttarakhand is 79.63%. The state borders Tibet, Nepal, Himachal Pradesh and the Uttar Pradesh plains districts. Dehradun, the state's capital is about 240 km away from India's capital, New Delhi. There are 13 districts in Uttarakhand: Pithoragarh, Almora, Nainital, Bageshwar, Champawat, Uttar Kashi, Udham Singh Nagar, Chamoli, Dehradun, Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Rudraprayag and Haridwar (Urban).
The state's economy is one of the fastest growing in recent times. Agriculture is the most significant sectors in Uttarakhand. Rice, soybeans, wheat, groundnuts, pulses, coarse cereals and oil seeds are mainly grown crops. Apples, pears, oranges, peaches, plums and litchis are widely grown and are an important part of the food industry. The main cash crop of the state is sugarcane. The state has high expectations in becoming a striking tourist destination. Tourism is also coming up in the region and contributes in the annual earnings. This sector needs to be explored more and the state needs to invest more in tourism. Another sector where the state need to progress is the agro industries as this will help boost its revenue.
Society and Culture
Uttarakhand's society implies the lifestyle and the customs and traditions of the state. Its society is an extension of the cultural pattern of Uttarakhand. It is a heterogeneous mixture of the various ethnic groups from the Kumaon and Garhwal regions. Most of the people belonging to the state's society are heterodox Hindus and Buddhists; while we also come across a number of Sikhs, who have migrated from West Punjab and settled in Uttarakhand since 1947. Dances in the region are associated with life and human existence; they exhibit countless human emotions. Music forms an integral part of the culture of Uttarakhand. The popular categories of folk songs comprise of basanti, mangals, khuded and chhopati. In local crafts, wood carving is quite prominent. Kumbh Mela, which is one of the major Hindu pilgrimages takes place in Haridwar, Uttarakhand and is considered the largest religious gathering in the world. Other major festivals in the state are Ghee Sankranti, Bat Savitri, Khatarua, Phool Dei, Harela mela, Nanda Devi Mela, etc. More Detail...
Government and Politics
Uttarakhand government is devoted whole-heartedly towards the betterment of this new Indian state formed in 2000. It comprises an extremely efficient legislature, backed by an equally committed judiciary and executive. All the functions of the government are based primarily in Dehradun of Garhwal division, the capital city of the state. There are total five Parliamentary constituency and 70 unicameral seats in the Legislature.More Detail...
The two main regional languages are Garhwali and Kumaoni, but Hindi is the most commonly spoken language. The Garhwali and Kumaoni dialects are spoken in Garhwal and Kumaon regions. Some tribal communities in the west and north speak in Jaunsari and Bhotiya dialects. On the other hand, the urban population speaks mostly in Hindi, which is an official language of Uttarakhand along with Sanskrit.
Opportunities for tourism are immense in this state, be it nature, wildlife, adventure, or pilgrimage tourism. The major destinations are Haridwar, Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Almora, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, Gangotri, Jim Corbett National Park, Nainital, Ranikhet and Pithoragarh. If you are adventurous and like tough challenges, you can go for high- and low-altitude trekking, river rafting, para gliding, hang-gliding, mountaineering, skiing and many other activities.
Below is a list of some important Tourist Attractions in Uttaranchal:
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|Uttarakhand Travel Map|
1. The Kedarnath Temple is one of the most important religious centers in Uttarakhand. It is located at an elevation of 11,500 feet above sea level near the Mandakini River. Kedarnath is among the holiest Hindu temples in India dedicated to Lord Shiva. Devotees travel from different corners of the country every year mostly during the month of April to pay their homage to the God of the region.
2. This is another popular tourist destination in Uttarakhand. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is also a one stop pilgrimage center for many Hindus. According to Hindu mythology this city was one of the favourite places of Lord Shiva. Apart from its religious significance, Rishikesh is among the most naturally beautiful cities in India.
3. Nainital is among the most frequented tourist destinations in Uttarakhand. Situated in the Kumaon hills, Nainital is famous for its enthralling landscapes. It is situated at a height of 1,938 meters and offers several tourist destinations that are unique to the region.
4. A heaven for restoration and the peace loving traveller. Ranikhet promises a calm that is not found anywhere else in India. Known as a unique hill station for its clean and pollution free environment, tall coniferous trees, serene surroundings, Ranikhet promises to take you far from the maddening crowd.
- The Jim Corbett National Park
5. Known as paradise for the animal lover, the Jim Corbett National Park is undoubtedly the most prized possession of Uttarakhand. Counted as one of the best animal habitats in the country, the Jim Corbett National Park is located in the Himalayan foothills. Stretching over an area of 1318.54 sq meters this national park in India is made up of a rich eco system. More Detail...
The fascinating locales of the national parks of Uttarakhand are brimming with the noble presence of wildlife that reflects incredible diversity. But the flora is also not left far behind as these national parks at Uttarakhand are dowered with an entire caboodle of trees, flowering-plants, shrubs, herbs, climbers and many more intriguing varieties that will beyond a shadow of a doubt dazzle you. On most occasions, the national parks are reserve pieces of luscious landscapes that fall under the jurisdiction of a particular government belonging to a nation. The most significant and vital postulate that austerely demarcates the national parks from other wildlife preserving centers is the fact that any sort of human intrusion or dreaded pollution are sternly taboo. More Detail...
Uttarakhand in India is easily accessible by air, rail and road. The Jolly Grant airport near Dehradun is the most popular airport in the region. Some domestic airlines operate flights to and from Dehradun. Uttarakhand shares an excellent railway network with most of the Indian cities and towns. The major railway stations that connect the state to the other parts of the country are the Dehradun Railway Station, the Haridwar Railway Station, and the Kathgodam Railway Station. Uttarakhand is well connected to most of the cities in India by a strong network of National Highways such as 58, 73, 74, and 87. The State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) manages and operates the bus services in the state.
Blogs about Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand High Court Justice Sells For Only 15 Lakhs! : The corruption, permeating the judicial system of our country, had come under the spotlight in yet another exposure of bribery to a High Court Judge. The scam was revealed through a case of mistaken identity, when a package of Rs 15 lakhs, was mistakenly delivered to the residence of one Nirmaljit Kaur, a High Court judge, on August 13th, 2008. Following a police investigation into the matter, it had turned out that the package was…
Uttarakhand Catastrophe (Part II) : Post Disaster Management Fiasco : On June 16th Uttarakhand witnessed one of the most devastating natural calamities in the form of flash floods, cloudbursts, consistent hard rain and huge landslides that lasted for multiple days. The death toll as per June 16th statistics was 5700 or more. The disaster was a man-made disaster, a direct consequence of plundering a fragile mountain range like the Himalayas. Repeated warnings of the various environmental research agencies that Uttarakhand is an ‘Eco-Sensitive’ zone and…
Are Natural Disasters Man made? : Geographically, disasters can be technically classified into two categories: namely, natural disasters and man-made natural disasters. Man made disasters are always far worse than natural disasters. With the advent of science, various scientific experiments especially nuclear tests and human follies like oil spills, fire hazards, gas leaks along with the much discussed global warming has heavily skewed the balance of the ecosystem. Very soon we will reach a stage where the line between natural and…
Chaukori : Living in the plains among the hustle and bustle of city life and then visiting mighty mountains for serenity is a totally different experience. Many places in India can be called dream destinations, as you can reinvent yourself and be a part of the nature by visiting these. One such unexplored and small but mesmerizing tourist spot that presents a great view of snow-capped Himalayan range is Chaukori. Chaukori is located in the Pithoragarh district…
Roopkund Lake – The Mysterious Lake of Skeletons : One can see hundreds of corpses floating in the Roopkund Lake when the ice in this lake melts. With this scene, comes the mystery of the lake. Roopkund Lake locally known as the Mystery Lake is located in Himalaya at an altitude of about 5,029 meters in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand state. There are hundreds of corpses (300-600 in number) that can be seen in this shallow lake. Their presence there is a mystery. Scientists…
Last Updated on : November 15, 2014